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We analyzed nine multigenerational families with ascertained affective spectrum disorders in northern Sweden's geographically isolated population of Vasterbotten. This northern Swedish population, which originated from a limited number of early settlers approximately 8,000 years ago, is genetically more homogeneous than outbred populations. In a genomewide linkage analysis, we identified three chromosomal loci with multipoint LOD scores (MPLOD) >/=2 at 9q31.1-q34.1 (MPLOD 3.24), 6q22.2-q24.2 (MPLOD 2.48), and 2q33-q36 (MPLOD 2.26) under a recessive affected-only model. Follow-up genotyping with application of a 2-cM density simple-tandem-repeat (STR) map confirmed linkage at 9q31.1-q34.1 (MPLOD 3.22), 6q23-q24 (MPLOD 3.25), and 2q33-q36 (MPLOD 2.2). In an initial analysis aimed at identification of the underlying susceptibility genes, we focused our attention on the 9q locus. We fine mapped this region at a 200-kb STR density, with the result of an MPLOD of 3.70. Genealogical studies showed that three families linked to chromosome 9q descended from common founder couples approximately 10 generations ago. In this approximately 10-generation pedigree, a common ancestral haplotype was inherited by the patients, which reduced the 9q candidate region to 1.6 Mb. Further, the shared haplotype was observed in 4.2% of patients with bipolar disorder with alternating episodes of depression and mania, but it was not observed in control individuals in a patient-control sample from the Vasterbotten isolate. These results suggest a susceptibility locus on 9q31-q33 for affective disorder in this common ancestral region.

Original publication




Journal article


American journal of human genetics

Publication Date





237 - 248


Department of Molecular Genetics, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.


Humans, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Case-Control Studies, Pedigree, Bipolar Disorder, Genetics, Population, Genotype, Haplotypes, Adult, Middle Aged, Sweden, Female, Male, Genetic Testing